In my current household there are 3 teens. A 14 boy who is mine and two step children a 13 boy and 16 girl.
Yes we are busy! Like most typical teens we(the parents) are known as the nagger's. I don't call it nagging so much as simply asking them to learn a few life skills. The normal picking up their rooms, don't leave your crap every where and anywhere you like, put the dishes in the dishwasher, not where ever! For the most part they are great kids, good students etc. But lazy and demanding they are.I did not raise my son to be this way, but somehow I woke up and there was this cocky teen with attitude.
Somewhere along the way over two years my husband and I turned into mr & mrs taxi and cinderella. And well frankly I am tired of both.
Of coarse when we try to talk to them we get the grunts, my son seems to have learned some sort of new language which involves talking with marbles in his mouth...lol, my stepdaughter just finds anything outside her circle of friends just plain annoying, and the youngest of the three just chooses to really not listen or hear what your saying....
I guess I would just like some advice from some other parents in the same situation with teens at home. How do you get through to them? or do you?
Somedays I would love to ship all three off to boot camp or boarding school until they are grown and not so frustrating. My hair is graying fast.
My daughter is almost 14 and I just told my mother this weekend "I don't even know who's child this is".She just seems so uncaring and unconcerned for anyone but herself.I have always been super sensitive.My husband says I am sensitive to a fault.I know I am probably not helping with your problem but just know you are not alone.My mom says they will come back to you.I guess we just have to know that as long as we are being the taxi and spending lots of time with them,we know they are safe and not doing things they shouldn't be doing.Keep the faith.I am sure it will get better.
Hi, I read some good advice once. It said if you have a problem with your children and only you are feeling the pain this is not good. The guy said that you need to shift the consequences so that only the child is feeling the pain. Is there some way that they won't get something important if they do not change their behavior, overall. Like fewer taxi rides or something?
I can only say, when my two (a girl an a boy), were teenagers, I once said: These are not my children, but mutated aliens.
I think the majority of teenagers are like this and it's something us parents all have to go through...it might help to know that they can't help it...apparently (this was an article I read), their brains are in a state of major growth and are misfiring...so it might help to think of them as temporarily insane
Good advice....we do use consequences, but I have to tell you , it works in the moment and then next week/month comes and they forget, so you start again, I take away the computer, I tell them to walk,not let them go to something, I have garbage bagged their clothes out of their rooms when they don't pick them up and held them ransom and well it again works for awhile and then they fall back into the duhhhh mode we like to call it. The ohh yeah I forgot answers. Drives me crazy! I have always been a discipline parent. Right and wrong have always been a part of my house, and they all grew up with strick discipline and all know better, just choose not to know it at the moment, for whatever the reason?
My sister in law who is a teacher, grade 8, went to this seminar where they talked about how the teenage brain rewires at a certain age, causing them to have several duhhhh moments....I am certain we are there!
I guess I just want to know that my husband and I are not the only parents with teens suffering through this period.
WOW- 3 teenagers! I thought I had it hard with a 17 year old (almost 18) and a 12 year old (almost 13). Both are about to be a year older within the next couple months.
My husband and I are total opposites when it comes to our kids. I am the disciplinarian who is able to get things done by telling my daughter & son just once, and hubby is always coming to me saying things like, "Why don't they listen to me? Why do I have to repeat myself 100 times?" My husband is a great dad, but he is also a cut up. He has been since we were in highschool together. He was elected "Class Clown", so needless to say, it's sometimes like I am raising 3 teenagers.
Anyway, back on subject. I have, since day 1 with both my children held true to my word with them. If I tell them there will be a certain consequence for their actions, I hold true to that. If I have asked them to do something and it doesn't get done, I will tell them again, this needs to be done or there will be no friends over for the weekend, or no video games, etc. My daughter and son know for a FACT that if it doesn't get done, I follow through with the consequences and then they end up having to do what they were originally told to do anyway, but have lost a priviledge as well.
When it comes to them leaving things just laying around or not being put where they are supposed to be, I ask once for it to be taken care of, and if it's not, I charge them a couple bucks for having to play "maid". This goes with leaving the lights on in rooms they have left, leaving the back door open, etc.
Usually when I ask them to do something, they do it, but they are only human, so no they are not perfect. They really are good kids. I just give them the respect that I demand from them basically. The times I do have attitude problems with them, I simply tell them that until they can sit down with me and treat me with respect, then there is no discussion- period.
No, I'm not a nagger, but I am a parent, and parents deserve respect. Kids deserve respect too, but in order to get respect, they need to know they must give respect as well. I always let my kids know, that I can be their best friend, but first and foremost I am their mother.
I know you really do have your hands full with 3 teens under one roof, but sweetie it will get better. I wasn't the best teenager in the world, but my parents stayed vigilant in their parenting and I did grow to understand and even thanked them. I think as these kids get into their teens, they are trying to find their way and make their place in this world. They want to grow up and be their own person- to be independent, and sometimes in trying to grow up so quickly, they tend to lose sight of the importance of a parent's knowledge. They really do think they know everything. Patience and persistance lzing, is all I can tell you. It will pay off eventually! Take care, and keep doing a great job- they will appreciate it one day.
Lzing, ozzybug gave some good advice. This all reminds me of when my children were 2 - 3. I thought that I should just be able to tell them the rules and then they should always just remember them. I used to get upset when I had to remind them. One day I realized that I just have to remind them. I didn't understand the physiology behind it but it was very clear that this was normal behavior for a toddler and that I was just going to have to remind them. I think that it is somehow related to the fact that it is normal for children to push limits. I didn't understand why when I read this but I have been thinking that they are developing, exploring, testing, they are curious, so of course they will always test limits and it is just my job to constantly enforce those limits. I have heard many comparisons with the developmental stages of toddler and teenager. They are both stages where they are finding their way and testing limits. The toddler is realizing that he is seperate from his parents and does have a mind of his own and the teenagers are again going through the stage of breaking away from their parents.
Just to say that I too am glad I'm not alone!! I get to the point at times that I just "do it myself" because I'm sick of asking! My husband will ask the kids something, then shrug as if to say "I tried"!!
I try to think to the future too. Someday they won't be around, and as my mother keeps reminding me, pay backs can be hell!! I told her I didn't think I was that bad and she said I didn't remember my teen years too well. Good luck to all with teens!!
As a former teenager, I know EXACTLY what your house is like. I was EXACTLY like your son. That was because I was depressed, but that's not to say that your son is. By the way, if you think he's depressed, don't go about it the way my parents did. Don't get mad at him about something and then bring it up, saying "what are you, depressed or something?"
Also, don't worry so much about their rooms being clean. I mean, worry a LITTLE, but unless you're moving sometime in the near future, their rooms don't have to be ready for an open house. Not only is worrying about cleanliness exhausting and pointless, but it doesn't really accomplish anything. The only time I really started cleaning more was in college, when I had to take care of my own living space. For now, don't worry about it. Even if they commute to school and live at home, they'll be better someday.
You should be very thankful, as I'm sure you are, that your kids are good students. I had no motivation, had discouraging parents, and got picked on, so I can't say the same for myself. Being a good student is harder work than it seems, so spend more time rewarding this behavior, and less time sweating the small stuff.
I know the condescension and the attitudes suck. But guess what? It happens to EVERY family. They're in middle school, expect more of this for a couple more years. Unless you're living on a wholesome family sitcom, they're not going to want to hang out with you, or talk to you about their feelings.
If you want any chance of them talking to you, however, you have to make them WANT to talk to you. They won't want to talk to you after you just told them to do some chores. Just let them do their thing. I agree that they're disrespectful, but it's natural--it's puberty. As long as you just let them be, they'll come around after a while and mature. Other than organizing their activities and such, you and your husband should feel relieved that you no longer have to stay up late at night, trying to entertain your kids by playing "peek-a-boo." I know I'd feel relieved. Yes, you miss spending that time with your kids, but even in this stage they might seek you out a bit if you play hard to get. While you're waiting, you have a loving husband to spend time with. And you have privacy now. You do the math.
Just try to calm down. Don't be so uptight about strictness and right or wrong. The more strict you are, the harder you have to work at maintaining your authority and being consistent with the rules.
Yes, rules and boundaries are needed, but they need freedom too. It could be MUCH worse, trust me.
I can SOoooo relate!!! I have two teenagers (girls) age 15 & 17 . Plus we had a 18 yr old boy living with us (his mom kicked him out)until last week when he decided to try his living with his mom again(she will kick him out again....she has problems).
Anyway, the drama never stops...my 17 yr old dropped out of school during 11th grade, then got her GED and started college....well the semester is over and she tells me she has failed algerba...She made a 27 on her college ACT so she is NOT Stupid! Now we are telling her she has to get a job because we are not going to pay for college classes for her to just goof off. We have to keep grounding her from her car because she visits her boyfriend who does NOT have a job or a car and has also dropped out of school and got his GED.
She is very moody and has had depression in the past. So we have to keep a close eye on her to make sure she is doing OK. I am wore out!!!
My 15 yr old is doing well very active in school and school activities...we are bascially her driver, bank, and all around servant.....she can't work because she has band, cheerleading,student council, etc during the summer as well as during the school yr.
Both of their attitudes STINK! It's like they expect everything to be given to them on a silver platter. I am so tried of the disrespect with the way they talk I can't stand it....my husband says they are just fine with him and I am the one that needs to lay down the law with them....I try but it never seems to last very long and they are right back to the same way and I am the only one upset and dwelling on it afterwards.
OK Boy have I vented...Thanks LOL I needed that. Froggyfog
Ozzybug said all about consequences. I only have two small points; firstly, don't take it as delinquent behaviour when they "forget" or "don't think"; these are a given with teenagers. Their burgeoning hormones or whatever is happening to them make them truly incapable of seeing the "trivia" of their surroundings. You just have to keep bringing them back to earth, but it isn't that they are being naughty, they are just on a different plane of being. Second, choose your wars, don't waste valuable communicating on stuff like untidiness. Tell them, "consequent" them and forget it. (til next time, LOL). It is just a period you have to get through without building up any bitterness over normal rotten teenage behaviour. Your sweeties will reappear as lovely adults in no time at all. (Although, one of my favourite sayings is the one that goes: "Adolescence is an invention of Mother Nature to make us
dislike our kids enough to let them go")
First of all- you are a saint! THREE teenagers?!?
Secondly, I loved your response to another parent and posted that for you there...
You are obviosly a wonderful parent/mom/person.
I needed to hear your advice and I have taken it to heart-
this too shall pass and both me and my son will have grown through it.
My son lost his dad in March. He's been "acting out" in many ways and has really depended more on his friends than me to get through this.
I am jealous BUT I know he believes they understand better- as they probably do. They know how it would feel- I only know that I wish I could take away the pain and bring his dad back. I'm it now. All that you shared will help me be the best single mom I can be. Many, deep thanks to you!